First, nope, no Peanut arrival yet. We're glad about that, as I would really like to work through next week and have a few days of Spring Break to breathe before we begin. We'll see.
I'm working my way through the New Testament as one of my 30 Before 30 Goals, and I've just started Luke. (If it's okay to be proud of myself, I am, because never before have I consistently kept reading and progressing for this many months at a time.) Last week I was finishing up with Mark, which concludes with Jesus' death and resurrection. It's interesting reading the Gospels, because twice now I've read the "same" stories, from Matthew and from Mark, and am really trying to seek new perspectives. I know I'll encounter this same need in Luke, too.
My first tendency when I read stories where the disciples "screw up," like when Peter sinks in the water after walking or denies knowing Jesus multiple times out of fear or when they all run away in the garden at His arrest, is to identify myself with them. Would I have even gotten out of the boat? In what ways to I deny knowing Him in my life? What am I so afraid of that I would run away, instead of stay?
Since Thanksgiving Break, when I decided to "Just Do It" and really commit to spending some time intentionally developing my relationship with Him, I've been learning a lot. You've read some of it. Glory. Relationship. I kept finding out that there was (IS!) more to Him than I knew, and that if I really wanted to love Him, to know Him, I needed to keep pursuing.
Often, and especially lately, when I've read, my focus has been on what I need to do, how I need to grow, what He might be telling me about me.
As I read the story of His death and resurrection again the other day, though, and started to think the same thoughts about how I would react, it struck me.
Yes, this was FOR me, but it wasn't ABOUT me.
It's about HIM.
Let me take a moment and tear my self-centered-even-in-the-midst-of-Bible-study focus away from myself and recognize that
It. Isn't. About. Me.
What an amazing man, what an amazing God, what an an amazing Father, to do the things He did, He does, He will do. I need to spend a little more time pondering and reflecting on that, you know?
Yes, sure, it's good for me to let Him correct me, to teach me, to mold me. Absolutely. But it's really about Him. (And wasn't that what I was learning about Glory, before, anyway?)
Some friends introduced Husband to this song. It's the song of our hearts right now. For him, mostly, I think because there is some hard stuff he's wading through and it speaks right to what he needs to hear. For me, well. I started out loving the music. It's all good, but right at about 3:20 when the drums start to intensify I just find myself drawn in. You really need to listen. Then it's the words about all the things He has already overcome that speak to me.
And then this morning, as I was listening again on my way to work, I realized.
Yet again, I'm thinking about me.
Yes, All our troubles, all our tears. But God of Hope, He has overcome.
Yes, All our failures, all our fears. But God of Love, He has overcome.
Yes, All our heartache, all our pain. But God our Healer, He has overcome.
Yes, All our burdens, all our shame. But God our Freedom, He has overcome.
God of Justice. God of Praise. God our Freedom. He has overcome.
God our Refuge. God our Strength. God is with us. He has overcome.
It's about Him. Look Outward, Beth. Outward.